Chloe Hosking came into the UCI Road World Championships aiming to become the first Australian woman to win the rainbow jersey on a course tailored to her characteristics. The 26-year-old Wiggle High5 rider was making just her second elite Worlds appearance, five year's on from her debut on the last sprint friendly parcours in Denmark where she was sixth.
The Danish Worlds connection continued for Hosking in Doha with Amalie Dideriksen taking the gold ahead of Kirsten Wild (Netherlands), who turned 34 on Saturday, and Finland's Lotta Lepisto.
"I wasn't quiet about it," Hosking said. "I went in wanting the rainbows, and I had the whole team behind me. I'm so grateful that I had such great support from all six of the girls and all the Australian staff, my family, my coach, my partner. And then in the end, I didn't finish it off."
Hosking had enjoyed one of her most successful seasons to date ahead of the Worlds with high profile wins at La Course by Le Tour de France, Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli, stages of the La Route de France, Giro Rosa and Ladies Tour of Qatar, and the overall Tour of Chongming Island title. The seven-rider Australian team were 100% behind Hosking with the Ale Cipollini Galassia bound describing her gratitude for the trust and belief in her abilities.
"Obviously I'm super disappointed in my performance, but I'm so proud of how the girls rode and represented Australia," said Hosking. "They really went in and were so behind me as a leader, and I'm so, so grateful that I had the opportunity to race for the world title.
"Seventh is not what we came her for, but it's what we got. It's not the last bike race we'll ever race."
National coach Martin Barras added to Hosking's comments, explaining the result was "a little bit underwhelming. There's satisfaction because we acquitted ourselves of everything we said we'd do.
"We came up short in the final lead-out, but by and large, the race unfolded the way we wanted it to, and we did everything we wanted to. It was job well done but no bickies at the end, and that's always going to be disappointing."
"It made for a very, very difficult nearly 20-kilometre chase to get her back to the bunch but we did get her there in the end," he said of Cromwell's crash.
"I'm proud of my bike racers. This is us. This is it. They brought the proverbial 110 percent and put together a good race. We just couldn't tie it up at the end," he added.